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18-year-old sexual assault survivor starts peer support group in St. Joseph

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Voices of Courage

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) A Missouri Western nursing student is giving survivors of sexual violence a safe place to share their stories.

As a survivor herself, 18-year-old Jennifer Langford doesn't want other survivors to feel the loneliness she felt in the aftermath of her assault, prompting her to start her new sexual assault peer support group: "Courage of Survivors"

"I've experienced sexual assault personally and it's something I'm very passionate about. I think there are resources in St. Joe but, but having those resources at a peer level where people who have experienced it can come together is something that I think I missed out on during that process," said Langford.

Langford hopes to build a sense of community for survivors and give them a safe place to come together, talk about their experiences and hopefully feel less alone.

"I think experiencing sexual assault is an incredibly lonely experience. There's a lot of really negative emotions, and so, to have an environment where we can come together and you know, talk and just feel less alone is incredibly important to me."

In the years following her assault, Langford has fought hard to gain her voice back, and now wants to help other survivors here in St. Joseph do the same.

"I think this is such uncharted territories, so it's a little nerve-racking but I'm ecstatic to get this started," Langford said.

The first meeting will be held January 14.

  • Ages 14-17 will meet 12-1PM
  • Ages 17+ will meet 1:30-2:30PM

The meeting will be at 2216 Highly, St. Joseph.

To follow the group's Facebook page, click here.

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